It’s your ghost, no, it’s you—
coatless in June rain on the longest day,
walking with your arms crossed
over your chest to keep warm,
so I know you’re not a ghost after all,
but you might be your son, and
I’m trailing you, knowing I won’t catch up,
when silence opens behind you, a crowd moves in.

You are growing grayer, scurrying down Third,
can’t make out your eyes, but certain your lashes are
collecting raindrops, your pupils will be mournful
and  bewildered behind those glasses. And I know—
you want to stop under a canopy, fall into a wicker chair
and drink some whiskey. Can’t you see how the trees’ leaves
are ragged with rain, caterpillars cling to the leaves,
and Juncos will eat the caterpillars?

Under the same sky, people sit in sunshine somewhere,
six feet apart, or dance to a corny mariachi band,
or lie in a field of dandelions, while you are,
astonishingly, here. Not there.   
It’s not my nature to do it, but I smile aimlessly
at people I pass, trying to catch up to you.

Selected byJordan Trethewey
Image credit:Abbilyn Zavgorodniaia

Trish Saunders lives in Seattle and Honolulu and, in her imagination, near Crater Lake, Oregon. Her poetry appears in The American Journal of Poetry, Califragile, Pacifica Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, Eunoia Review, Silver Birch Press, Seattle Poetry Bus, and other places. Right Hand Pointing published her chapbook, "Last Note" in 2019.